Pride Regains Radical Purpose

Article @ Morning Star, published 29 June 2015

A group of LGBT rights activists broke through security lines during the weekend’s Pride march to chase a Ukip contingent off the parade and reclaim the rally from corporate sponsors.

As the march reached Oxford Circus on Saturday afternoon, a dozen people holding a black coffin ran past guards and solemnly walked in front of tax-dodging Pride patron Barclays.

According to RIP Pride Funeral organisers, several of London Pride’s stewards rushed to remove the protesters from the parade.

Award-winning LGBT campaigner Dan Glass said: “It was so great to see Pride return to its roots as a protest rather than just a parade.

“Pride should have strong political principles with equality for everyone at its heart, not just big business or any organisation who wishes to milk the LGBTQI community dry.

“Our demand is that the organisation of Pride becomes democratic. Decision-making power should be taken away from the current unrepresentative, largely corporate board and an LGBTQIA assembly should be established, to decide the theme and direction for Pride in 2016 and onwards.”

London Pride organisers had already attracted criticism from trade unionists and political activists for continuing to demand exorbitant registration fees.

This year’s original line-up announcement caused an uproar as the list of participants revealed a Ukip contingent in the front bloc of the parade.

Despite being asked not to come due to “health and safety concerns.” a group of men wearing Ukip LGBT T-shirts marched near the Barclays bloc.

RIP Pride members confronted the men, who swiftly left the march.

Dan Laverick was one of those opposing the right-wing party, saying: “We’re here to remember what Pride started as and its radical legacy.

“We’re also here to protest against what it has become.

“Pride in London has nothing to say about LGBTQI issues today such as one in four homeless people in the UK being from our community, the people seeing services upon which they depend cut as part of the austerity agenda.

“To invite a party like Ukip which attacks migrants, people living with HIV, homosexuals, and any other vulnerable minority as it suits them was the final nail in the coffin.”